N. Ireland lawmakers plan to ban dogs on beach draws opposition

April 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM
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PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland, April 20 (UPI) -- A Northern Ireland dog lover said he hopes more than 1,000 dog owners and their pooches will join his protest of a proposed law banning dogs from a local beach.

Willie Greg, a bar owner in Portrush, Northern Ireland, said he founded the Barking Mad campaign to stop local lawmakers from banning dogs in several public places, the most recent of which is West Beach, a popular spot on the north coast, the Belfast Telegraph said Saturday.

"Thousands of people come here every year to walk their dogs. The council can't just draw a pen through it and say ban dogs," he said.

Councilmen are reacting in response to complaints the beach has been soiled by dogs whose owners don't pick up after them.

Greg said police should target the offenders rather than banning all dogs.

"The council should be looking at going after the owners who let their dog foul, perhaps through beach patrols, instead of penalizing all owners," he said. "The people that let their dogs foul need to be prosecuted. It's the people that do that who have brought this problem to a head. I don't know any dogs that leave full nappies on the beaches, I don't know any dogs that leave broken wine bottles. It's the dog owners that have to be addressed here, not the poor dogs."

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